Sunday, July 30, 2006


A weekend with Mimi and Pipi

Friday morning, an hour's drive outside of Ottawa, we arrived at Storyland and spent a morning in this charming if slightly shabby park in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

We drove all afternoon through Algonquin Provincial Park (perhaps one of the loveliest drives I have ever been on) and arrived at Mimi and Pipi's house - also in the middle of absolutely nowhere - in the late afternoon. The boys loved roaming their exquisitely landscaped acre carved out of the bedrock of the Canadian Shield and the forest.

We saw lots of creatures, both familiar and wild: snakes, turtles, fish in Pipi's pond, and a huge moose having breakfast in Mimi and Pipi's neighbour's yard. They called us to tell us they could see two moose in their yard, and we hopped in the car and made it over just in time to see one loping away into the woods. The boys had fun tracing following the humoungous hoofprints across the loamy soil. Simon actually caught this monarch butterfly, and I'm not sure who was more surprised. He let it go, and it fluttered on its way.

The weather crapped out on us on Saturday, but we managed to have a lovely day nonetheless. Mimi just this month got her licence to drive a school bus (at the impressive age of 62 no less - don't you love her to death?) and so the boys enjoyed their first school-bus ride with a personal driver. Sadly, cameras were left at home.

Sunday, the weather improved enough for a trip to the beach, and a ride in Pipi's boat. And yes, that last picture is of the boat that towed us back to the dock after the motor died in the middle of the lake. My biceps are aching as I type this from the paddling!

But the true highlight of the weekend was riding around the property and the local snowmobile trails on Pipi's tractor. Every four year old needs grandparents who operate heavy machinery and let them drive boats and tractors, don't you think?